Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Car won't restart. Have to wait 30 minutes

Our 1999 Cougar runs fine but, randomly, after stopping and shutting down won't restart. After 30 minutes it starts right up. It doesn't appear to be the fuel pump. Help, it alwyas happens at the most unopportune times!

Comments

  • edited August 2009

    You need to tell us a few things about this car before you can get answers that really address the problem.

    Engine type/size
    Odometer mileage
    Specifics on the car's maintenance record

    And--most important of all--does "won't restart" mean that the starter fails to activate when you turn the key, or does it mean that the starter cranks the engine but the engine does not start and run on its own?
  • edited August 2009
    Since it's intermittent and unlikely to be tested while malfunctioning, I would guess ignition module or crank position sensor.
  • edited August 2009
    I would check for spark getting to the plugs when the trouble happens. You could carry a extra plug and plugwire with you to have on hand when the trouble happens so you can check it. Another device that works is one of those noncontact live electrical testers or indicators.
  • edited August 2009
    We had this prob with a 1997 buick Lesabre. Does it stall - and then is dead as a doornail, nothing happens when you turn key? We changed out the ignition coils - they tested bad at local Autozone- but when we still had trouble - a low cost mechanic told us that the battery in it was the wrong type for our vehicle, had prob caused the prob in the first place. After he change out the batterry it to work okay for the next few months, til starter fried. Hopes this helps.
  • edited August 2009
    Thanks for replying,car/is a 4 cylinder 5 speed manual 99 cougar/90k/well maintained/been in the family about 5 years.Car turns over but will not start(like a bad fuel pump).Usually happens after its been running a while, and then a quick stop somewhere.Just when you think its hopeless(about 30 minutes)it starts up and runs fine....thanks for your time...Bill
  • edited August 2009
    A battery being the "wrong type" will not cause a car not to start. You can start a car off just about any 12V battery (things like lantern batterys would not work). What do you think your "wrong battery" had Polish electrons?
  • edited August 2009
    "Does it stall - and then is dead as a doornail, nothing happens when you turn key?"

    No crank? That sounds more like a bad battery than a 'wrong' one. Or a loose or corroded cable connection, probably corrected in the process of changing the battery.
  • edited August 2009
    I agree with Cougar that it's something in the "spark" system. To find out, YOU, eegle 1748 have to do some simple checks when it doesn't start. Are you willing to do that? If you are, you can get a little neon test light that you place on any spark plug wire. Someone cranks the engine as you watch the test light flash about once every two to three seconds. You can get the spark test lamps at auto parts stores, or on ebay.
    After spark tests are fuel system tests. This test is a little more invasive. You spray a Starting Fluid into the large black intake tube on top of the engine. These are diagnostic steps, they are not cure steps. Results?

    Addum:
    Contrarywise, the engine cylinders may have too much fuel. To find out, hold the gas pedal to the floor (up to 10 seconds) while you crank the engine. Let up on the gas as (if) the engine starts.
  • edited August 2009
    If it cranks but does not start, sometimes a temperature sensor is bad and the computer can't figure out the proper amount of fuel to inject. Just a little off and the engine won't start. After a half hour, the engine just happens to get to a good starting temperature.
This discussion has been closed.